Kinship Family Advocate
Kalamazoo and Cass Counties, MI
Job Type

SALARY: $25.75 per hour


  • Among the highest compensation of any agency in the area
  • All staff paid hourly/overtime work receives overtime pay
  • Flexible workplace, hybrid remote/in-office duties depending on position
  • Comprehensive medical/vision; employee pays $40/$110 monthly (depending on plan choice), plus additional for spouse/dependents
  • Dental benefits with employer contribution
  • 12 paid holidays including one floating holiday plus an extra day for your birthday
  • 12 - 24 days paid days off, depending on length of service
  • Mileage reimbursed at federal rate of .655 cents 
  • Monthly phone stipend $20-$40 per month depending on position
  • 403b Retirement Plan with profit sharing contributions
  • Cost of living pay increases annually; merit increases at time of evaluation
  • Annual bonuses to staff as finances allow
  • Short and long-term disability insurance, life insurance benefits premiums paid in full by employer
  • Employee Assistance Program

This is a full-time, 40 hours per week, hybrid position with some travel to Ann Arbor, Lansing and throughout lower Michigan.  


The Kinship Family Advocate partners with kinship caregivers of relative children to access the support, information, and referrals they need to care for themselves and the children in their homes. Family Advocates may provide services via phone, email, text and/or videoconferencing, in-home, and in community settings to kinship caregivers. The primary functions of this role are to provide family directed support, culturally responsive information and services which include: direct assistance advocating with and coaching kinship caregivers as they access support services, strategically reduce barriers, facilitate service planning, coordinate outreach and referrals of services, provide closed loop referral for services, and engage in ongoing service advocacy.

This position is grant funded through the MichiKIN Network Program and will be delivered in collaboration with Michigan State University's MSW School of Social Work Kinship Care Resource Center (KCRC).   


The Kinship Family Advocate shall hold a master’s in social work (MSW) or related human service field from an accredited college or university, plus a minimum of one-year post-master's degree experience.


Knowledge of the child welfare system, experience working directly with diverse families and children is required.  

Experience with kinship families and knowledge of the unique needs of this group, including grief, loss, attachment, common physical, developmental, emotional needs and available resources for children/families preferred.

Candidates must possess the following skills:

· Excellent interpersonal and communication skills (both verbal and written) with experience in public speaking.

· Ability to provide high-quality customer service, handle multiple priorities simultaneously with confidence and poise in a fast-paced environment, and prioritize activities to meet deadlines.

· Evidence of the ability to work collaboratively and constructively with people at multiple levels and with diverse perspectives

· Proficiency with Microsoft Office suite, especially Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Share Point, Teams, and Outlook, and proficiency or ability to become proficient in calendaring and Customer Relations Management Systems (Salesforce) Experience with Salesforce or CRM software

· Experience with HIPAA Compliance, Civil Rights, and/or Mandated Reporter Guidelines.

· Ability to maintain confidential information regarding all aspects of client, family, employee, and project information

· Cultural awareness and ability to identify unique needs specific to various diverse populations. 

· Familiarity with State of Michigan child welfare policies

· An approach to colleagues that is respectful, collaborative, and accessible

Candidate must be willing and able to work flexible hours based on the needs of families in the program, including evenings and weekends if necessary. 

The Kinship Advocate shall have access to reliable transportation, shall possess a valid Driver’s License, positive driving record and proof of automobile insurance.

Candidate may not have been convicted of child abuse or neglect, a felony involving harm or threatened harm to an individual within the ten years immediately preceding the date of hire or be listed on the central registry as a perpetrator of child abuse or child neglect. 

Hands Across The Water does not discriminate against an employee or applicant for employment with respect to hire, tenure, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, or a matter directly or indirectly related to employment, because of race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, marital status, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, political beliefs or mental or physical disability.

Salary Description
$25.75 per hour